All you need to know about Panoramic X-ray

Panoramic x-ray, that is also known as panoramic radiography is a two-dimensional x-ray done for dental examination. This panoramic x-ray is capable of capturing the image of complete mouth i.e. the x-ray of entire mouth that includes the teeth, both upper and lower jaws and other structure and tissues of inside the mouth.  Tough, the jaws or structure inside the mouth is similar to that of a horseshoe but still the image that is produced is flat.

Physicians and dentists use this panoramic x-ray to diagnose and treat any medical issue related to your teeth or jaws. It is typically used to get the details of the bones inside your mouth. X-ray is a process in which a part of the body is exposed to a very little dose of ionization radiation that is responsible for producing the image of inside. The basic difference between traditional intraoral x-ray and the panoramic x-ray is that in intraoral x-ray the film is kept inside the mouth whereas in case of panoramic x-ray the film is placed inside the machine.

Advantages of Panoramic X-Ray Over Intraoral X-Ray

Panoramic x-rays have become the most convenient way for dentists and oral surgeons to diagnose any kind of oral problem in the patients. Panoramic x-ray is preferable over intraoral x-ray because it provides all the important details that a dentist requires in a single x-ray. Information such as positioning of teeth and gums, bone irregularities, nasal areas, maxillary sinuses can be easily obtained through panoramic x-ray. Once the dentists get the complete information about the problem they can easily plan right treatment for braces, extractions and implants it also helps in treating full and partial dentures.

Preparation for Panoramic X-Ray

There is no special preparation required for going through a panoramic x-ray examination. All you have to do is to wear a lead apron to keep other parts of your body safe from radiations. There may be chances that the radiations may scatter from panoramic x-ray beam and affect the other parts of the body, thus to protect you from these radiations the dentists will ask you to wear the lead apron. They may also ask you to remove accessories like eyeglasses, jewellery or any metallic object that might obstruct the panoramic x-ray beam.

It is suggested that if you are pregnant you should inform your doctor before undergoing panoramic x-ray test. There are certain x-ray examinations that are not performed if the patient is pregnant because the radiations can cause harm to the baby. If in any case x-ray is important for the pregnant mother then extra precautions should be taken in order to reduce the exposure of harmful radiations to the baby.

Procedure of Panoramic X-Ray

The process of panoramic x-ray is quite simple and hassle free. In initial stage of the procedure you will be asked to sit in the middle where you will be carefully seated with the right positioning of your head. This will be done by the technician. The unit where you are seated is adjusted to properly to accommodate you on the wheel chair. Next is placing a bite-blocker inside your mouth for proper alignment of your teeth.

Your head and teeth should be correctly placed so as to get clear and right image. You should remain still and not even tilt while the process carries on. To record the image dentist rotates the arm that goes in the semicircle path covering the parameter of your head. This process may take 15-20 seconds.

Dr. Penosh Agrawal
M.B.B.S , Diploma in Medical Radio-Diagnosis
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